The Little Things In Life – Finding Our ‘Soul’ In The Everyday

So, recently I watched Disney / Pixar’s “Soul.”

If you haven’t seen it, it’s well worth a watch. I think it’s brilliant.

It’s very much an adult movie – way too complex for children to understand; which to me is very refreshing because for some reason it’s long been thought that ‘animation is for kids.’ This also isn’t a movie you need to watch with someone who doesn’t pay close attention. Lol

(screenshot from movie)

I’m not going to give the entire plot away, but the synopsis is this:

Pixar’s “Soul” is about a jazz pianist who has a near-death experience and gets stuck in the afterlife, contemplating his choices and regretting the existence that he mostly took for granted. – Roger Ebert

Somewhere in the movie, we get this scene; and I have to be honest here: It made me cry.

Joe is looking at the random items collected from his day and has flashbacks to the moments they are tied to…

Give it a quick watch HERE.

Some comments I’ve seen regarding this part of the movie:

  • I remember watching this scene and cry myself out of how many beautiful things in this life that I’ve taken for granted. I’ve been feeling suicidal, I thought my life has no worth. And then I remembered those moments where I would ride my bike in a sunny day and I breathed in the fresh air. Or when I’m enjoying my time on my rooftop listening to music, watching the skies the stars the moon. I feel so warm and i feel like i want to continue living, just to enjoy all those things a little bit longer.
  • As I have gotten older and nostalgia has been a constant reminder of how fleeting life’s moments are I’m often humbled to have been given an opportunity to walk this beautiful place called earth.
  • We’re on this amazing adventure on earth for a reason, and it’s your reason – It might not be this amazing career but as long as you live your life to the fullest and happy…
  • Joe replacing the music sheet with all the trinkets ’22’ found while in his body is such a clever metaphor for him finally stepping out of his “musical purpose life” fantasy and realizing all those little trinkets ARE his life. His friends, his parents, his lonely moments, his students, his passion, his memories… We aren’t born with a purpose, but rather a spark that makes us feel alive. Thank you, Pixar ❤
  • Ambition is written into our DNA but this movie reminded me the importance of taking a step back to really live life in the moment whenever you can. At your last dying breath, you won’t be looking back at life and reflecting on how much wealth or material things you’ve accumulated or the title of your job. The joy of life is in the watercolor sunsets by the ocean. The golden rays filtering through trees. The towering mountains and wild fields of flowers. The feeling of cool rain on your cheeks. The glints of moonlight and stars reflected on water. Happiness is in the warm laughter with friends over silly jokes. The peaceful Sunday mornings where nothing extraordinary happens. The feeling of being safe in the arms of a loved one. There’s so much to live for and to be happy for in every moment of our short time on earth. When we take a moment to pause in our pursuits, we might just see that the happiness we’ve been looking for has always been looking straight at us.

This movie really got me thinking about what’s important in life. It literally caused me to start re-evaluating it. Lol

There IS such thing as being too obsessed with one’s dreams. You can become so involved in your pursuit of what you think ‘joy’ looks like, that you become completely disconnected.

I am going to use our careers as an example, but let’s not isolate this idea to just that. Is there something you have been pursing for years? Have you managed to enjoy your life in the meantime, or are you so focused on your goal that you feel like you’ve wasted years of it away?

I feel this way. A lot.

We often try to find meaning in our lives through big things like our career, money, our home, etc. We obsess over those things, believing that if we make one wrong choice, it will corrupt our path to that goal; but really, life is just one big thing made up of millions and billions of tiny things, and a lot of times as we age, we forget all about those little things and how miraculous and special they are. Many beautiful moments pass us by while we are busy chasing the dumb idea of achievement, or even acceptance.

For many years, the idea has been pushed that our careers are utmost importance. But I’m about to hit you in the face with some hard-core truth that some of you aren’t going to like. You ready for this?

What we do for a living is important, but it’s not everything.

“In Soul the characters refer to “spark” frequently. For a long time Joe confuses “spark” with “purpose”. He thinks that our spark is the meaning we have for our life, it’s the thing that we’re destined to do. But the spark is really the “spark of life” — the enthusiasm to live for the sake of living. There are many beautiful moments in the film, where Joe’s unlikely companion, “22” (22 is the name of a character), experiences everyday moments — tasting a pizza, feeling the rush of air through a subway vent, seeing a maple seed fall from a canopy — as transcendent. The “spark” is being able to live in the moment and appreciate it with all your soul.” – Steven Gambardella

Time passes so quickly.

Hours turn into days. Days into weeks. Weeks into months. Months into years.

When is the last time you walked outside and just took a deep breath and admired the trees, or ate an ice-cream cone on a hot day? When is the last time you found the perfect outfit for a fun night out, or had a conversation with a friend about something that really matters to you? -or took your dog on a walk or a car ride just to see their reaction? When is the last time you really listened to the sound of a creek in the summertime, or the silence of falling snow? Looked at how beautiful the city lights were at night, or thought about how even though there is a lot of bad in our world, there is still good in it too?

Below is a collage of just a few things that give me my ‘spark.’

So, what’s REALLY important in life? How about these things…

Hearing & seeing the wind in the trees.

Watching the birds (I know… OLD PEOPLE ALERT. LOL)

Hearing the words, “I’m proud of you.”

Feeling the sunshine on my face.

Helping my infant son discover the world.

Smells that instantly ‘take you back’ to a memory.

Pondering Jesus and what He means to me.

Eating a piece of strawberry cheesecake very slowly.

Recalling the memories I have with my family.

The feeling of a good hug from someone that loves you.

The sound of an orchestra.

The laughter of children.

I could go on and on…

When is the last time you really experienced these things and enjoyed them?

As we become adults, our ‘way in life’ often gets lost in all the hubbub of our goals. When we feel this way, we think we have to find purpose in our lives, and when we struggle to find our purpose, we feel like crap. We need to just appreciate the time God has given us and make the most out of it. Making the most of it doesn’t have to be in the form of being famous, being a boss at a major company, winning awards, etc. It can come in the form of simply appreciating the little moments in each day.

In ‘Soul,’ the main character is living in the middle of New York City, feels like he has a dead-end job, etc… but he STILL finds a way to enjoy life after his epiphany.

The Jerry’s, 22, Joe, & Terry – You have to watch it to get it, and even then, it’s complex! Lol

So, today my challenge to you is this:

Take a walk outside in the sunshine.

Play with your kids.

Take some time to look at old pictures and have sad / happy cries about the memories.

Go to Chili’s and get you a piece of cheeseca- I mean… enjoy your favorite food today! Lol

Take a day trip this weekend just to explore a place you’ve never been.



2 thoughts on “The Little Things In Life – Finding Our ‘Soul’ In The Everyday

  1. It is funny reading this post, because we decided to move to the villages in Florida to enjoy life and be able to participate with others our age. We have also downsize to be able to travel.


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